The Baked Brownie (Made Vegan and Gluten Free)

I didn't think this could be done, honestly. I've taken the Baked Brownie (named that because it's from a bakery called Baked), the best brownie in the history of the world, and made it vegan. And gluten free. And they're not awful.

I feel like a wizard. Or a scientist. Or maybe a little of both.

I basically took the Baked Brownie recipe and took out everything that's unhealthy (AKA, flour, butter, sugar) and replaced it with healthier stuff (Oat flour, applesauce, and Truvia). And it's good. I did not expect them to be as good as they are. Like, sure, they aren't as good as the real Baked brownie. But nothing is. Sorry health nuts. 

But these are the perfect alternative when you wanna eat healthier because it's a "new year, and a new me." Or when all your friends are going vegan and you just want to fit in.  Or if you have a weird aunt who comes to family get-togethers who insists she can't eat gluten or anything that came from an animal. Or if you ate your body's weight in cookies during the month of December and your conscience is telling you to chill.

I'm not going to lie to you and say it tastes just like the original. There is a pretty obvious difference. But these are good. This is not one of those times when you read a blog post that raves about some vegan/gluten free baked good that you end up making and it's just a dry brick or a wonky-tasting mush. Or a wonky-tasting dry brick. 

(NOTE: I took the picture above the day after making these, and notice that it is incredibly fudgy looking. That's because they started out super fudgy. They got a littl emore dried out after a couple days when I took the rest of the pictures. So eat quickly.)

So I'm helping you out here. Going a little mainstream in January by posting something almost-healthy. I just thought I'd give you a break to digest all that food in December. (This break won't last long, so don't throw out your stretchy pants just yet.)

-Audrey

The Vegan and Gluten Free Baked Brownie

Makes 12

Ingredients

3/4 cups oat flour* (make gluten free if you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces dark chocolate (make sure it's super dark, so it's healthy) (also make it vegan if you want it vegan)
½ cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup Truvia Baking Blend 
2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 5 tablespoons water (sub 2 eggs if not vegan)
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 in pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the oat flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments. When completely melted, transfer to a bowl and mix in applesauce and espresso powder. Whisk in Truvia.
4. Add the flaxseed and water mixture (or eggs) to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the oat flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. ***

***NOTE: These do not get better with age. They are best eaten within the first two days of baking, and make sure to keep them well covered. They dry out faster than normal. 

Adapted from Baked